Stretch Batmobile might one day be used for public transportation

Every wanted to ride in a stretch limo at 155 miles an hour? How about a stretch limo that looks like the Batmobile? If the Delft University of Technology gets the Superbus public transportation concept off the drawing board, you'll get your chance.

The news of the Superbus came out last month in the Economist, but I'm finally mentioning it here because it's so cool. The Superbus is an electric bus that rides on dedicated tracks at speeds of up to 155 mph, and can then shift to standard roads for more reasonable driving. It's the same length and width of a city bus, but a lot shorter (about as tall as an SUV). This gives the Superbus a more aerodynamic look (which isn't hard when compared to the rectangle that is most buses). The engineers are still working out whether fuel cells or batteries will power the Superbus, but I know I want to ride on it when it's available. Since there won't be dedicated stops (you text message a request to be picked up), I guess I'll have to get a text phone by the time a working prototype is unveiled at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

[Source: Economist, belated hat tip to Jeremy Switzer]

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